There’s a furry critter creeping about our house!! He gets into mischief every night! He does a lot of things that the Elf on the Shelf does…makes messes, gets into things, eats candy, watches movies, even opens some presents!!
We’re starting a new little Christmas tradition this year at our house….the cute little Christmas Mouse!
(to my kids: you are not allowed to read this next part!) I have been seeing the Elf on the Shelf everywhere in my digital world lately…have you seen him? A little red elf with big mischievous eyes who gets into trouble while the kids are sleeping. From what I gather, he’s kind of a spy sent from Santa to see if the kids are being good. So I like the idea of all the fun mischief, but not so much the spying part. And so I decided to “invent” our own little mischief maker(s). I sewed him up out of felt, doing some online research to make his outfit, and came up with a story to introduce him to the kids…it’s called Nicholas and the Christmas Mice. My plans were to make a few more mice, but maybe they’ll visit next year!
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“Needless to say, these little creatures were forever grateful to Nicholas for saving them from certain death. They refused to leave him and settled into his home, determined to help him and cheer him up and be his family.
The little mice quickly caught on that Nicholas has some secrets! He had been helping out the people in his community. Using his inheritance, he tried to do good wherever he could, but didn’t want to let anyone know that it came from his hand. The little mice would watch as he put on his cloak with a furry hood and quietly leave the house in the dark and damp of the night, not even lighting a candle to see by.
At his return, right before the sunrise, the little mice would blink open their eyes at the squeak of the door, and peek out from their cozy beds. At first they wondered what Nicholas was up to in the dead of night.
Then one day he let them in on his secret doings, for he needed their help. He explained in a modest way how he was trying to help his neighbors, and how he didn’t want anyone to find out who the secret helper was. Down the road aways was the small cabin of a poor fisherman and his three daughters. They were so poor that the fisherman feared that no one would want to marry his daughters and that they would become sad old maids.
Nicholas wanted to share some of his gold coins with the fisherman so that his three daughters could have lovely weddings to fine young men. The problem was that Nicholas couldn’t figure out a way of getting the gold coins into the fisherman’s hut at night, because the little home was always guarded by an old but fierce and loyal dog who wouldn’t let anyone near his master’s home.
The little mice pleaded to be allowed to help. “It will be a dangerous mission, but worthy of your courage and generosity, my dear little mice,” said Nicholas. His jolly face beamed down at the four of them, pleased to have company on this lonely midnight adventure…”
So that’s how we started off our new tradition. I read the story at night, then told that kids that if they happened to see a mouse around the house in the morning, they should just look and not touch, and clean up any messes!!
The next morning, this is what we found:A little someone had found the scissors and made a mess creating tiny snowflakes! The next morning….He had “opened” some presents, then stayed up all night watching the new movies, with his little bucket of popcorn!One of the kids was not pleased at all that a mouse had opened a present, and felt that this might ruin Christmas…but then someone else explained to the Mouse what proper behaviour is and was sure that he wouldn’t repeat the offense. It helped that the kids noticed that there was a present with each of their names on it…something new to watch together! The mouse hasn’t opened any more presents….he has only done some things like:graffiti our calendar and find and new friend…(that’s how we found out his first name is Squeako! His second name, so Tassy informed us after chatting with him, is Jalapeño!)…play with some vehicle toys in the night…brought some more mice friends and tried to cook something…. (toy food) climb around a new planet and have a few adventures…. He’s been up to something every night, but he likes to sleep during the day. The kids made a little box home for him to sleep in while he’s not having nocturnal adventures and to use while he’s visting us…We have been having lots of fun with Squeako Jalapeño! He’s quite quiet and looks serious, but his little deeds give us something to look forward to in the dark early hours before getting ready for school! (and when I say dark and early, I mean really dark and really early!)You find out in the story that Nicholas and the Christmas mice lived in a village called Patara. It was once a part of Greece, then later belonged to Turkey, thus his little vest and hat! (the scarf appeared because his neck is too thin and liable to get chilly!) :)
So we welcome little Squeako, and maybe someday he’ll be joined by some brothers and sisters, to liven up the countdown to Christmas in the dark and snowy days of our Canadian winters.